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About Us

The Liverpool Ophthalmic Reading Centre (LORC), established in 2005, is part of St. Paul's Eye Unit, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is strongly linked with the research activity of the Department of Eye and Vision Science (DEVS), University of Liverpool (UoL). It is also a member of Network of Ophthalmic Reading Centres UK (NetwORC UK) comprised of 3 reading centres currently, whose activities are co-ordinated by Central Angiographic Resource Facility (CARF) in Belfast.

As an ophthalmic reading centre it has grown from strength to strength since its inception.  It supports important multicentre clinical trials on eye diseases including Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, Uveitis and Retinal Vasculitis, Malarial Retinopathy, to name a few, and works closely with researchers at DEVS, UoL in the field of artificial intelligence applied to retinal image analysis and the development of deep learning algorithms to aid diagnosis and understanding of retinal disease.

Expertise in interpreting and grading various ophthalmic tomographic and angiographic image-based investigations from different imaging platforms including widefield and ultra-widefield systems is well-established and includes the below: 

  • Colour fundus
  • Fundus autofluorescence
  • OCT
  • OCT angiography
  • Fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography
  • Visual field analysis

LORC works closely with senior clinicians in St. Paul’s Eye Unit, on various projects within the ophthalmology department involving grading of ophthalmic images, which has led to many publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presentations at national and international conferences. It supports and contributes to research work undertaken by M.Res and Ph.D. students  from UoL, in addition to providing teaching to junior ophthalmologists in training in retinal image analysis.

It is involved in undertaking rapid access clinics for acute referrals for wet AMD and provides a hydroxychloroquine retinal monitoring virtual clinic service since 2018, for patients across Liverpool. LORC has been a key member of NetwORC UK and is involved in the development of grading protocols working with investigators and sponsors, and grading for many landmark studies such as IVAN, VICI, FASBAT, UKBB, to name a few.